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Purdue for Life FAQ

On March 11, Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced the creation of the Purdue for Life Foundation an organization designed to deepen ties to alumni and to drive and coordinate all alumni-facing activities for the University.

Over the past year, members of the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors have been working closely with University representatives to determine the direction of this collaboration and Purdue Alumni’s role as an organization within it.

While there are many logistical details still to be worked out, we are excited to announce some major steps toward the realization of strategic coordination of alumni engagement, member services, fundraising, and stewardship efforts that will present a unified approach to alumni relations at Purdue.


What is Purdue for Life?

Purdue for Life will encompass the Purdue Alumni Association, the University Development Office, John Purdue Club, and President’s Council and is intended to improve alumni engagement and communication by aligning development and stewardship activities across campus and with alumni and friends.

The foundation is led by CEO Matt Folk (ECE’91) with oversight by a five-member Board of Managers consisting of the president of Purdue University; three members of the University’s Board of Trustees, at least one of whom is a Purdue Alumni Trustee; and one member of the Purdue Alumni Board of Directors.

Purdue for Life’s Mission — The rich history of the Purdue Alumni Association since 1878 has been to champion personal, professional, and intellectual success in the lives of all Purdue alumni.

The Purdue for Life Foundation will inspire well-being in the lives and global communities of all Purdue alumni, students, and friends, while advancing Purdue University through deepening the sense of value experienced in continued association with the University.

Purdue for Life’s Vision — The Purdue for Life Foundation is the cornerstone for engagement, development, and stewardship at Purdue. It will be a robust and purposeful interdependent community connecting alumni and friends to Purdue, the University with alumni, and alumni with each other.

Will Purdue Alumni membership benefits be affected?

No. Membership is a vital component of Purdue’s engagement efforts. Other benchmark universities that have transitioned to a similar unified advancement model have retained a membership program.

At this time, there are no plans to discontinue the Purdue Alumni Association membership program. In fact, we hope to see enhancements to membership status. As part of the collaboration agreement, Purdue for Life is required to support Purdue Alumni life members with current or similar member benefits for the duration of their membership.

Will alumni engagement programs be affected?

No. Although organizational functions will be realigned under Purdue for Life, alumni engagement programs (e.g. clubs and networks, lifelong learning, events, travel) will continue to grow and thrive with additional resources to support alumni engagement efforts.

Why is the alumni association joining with Purdue for Life?

A unified advancement model that streamlines the University’s alumni-facing units has many benefits for Purdue’s 575,000 living graduates. Among them, coordinated and targeted communications as well as pooled resources — both personnel and financial — that will enhance alumni engagement efforts and fulfill Purdue Alumni’s mission well into the future.

To enable Purdue for Life to carry out the alumni association’s alumni engagement mission, the association will transfer its staff and certain assets to Purdue for Life to support alumni engagement activities.

Will the Purdue Alumni Association continue to exist?

Yes. Purdue Alumni will continue its more than 140-year tradition of serving alumni and will have a significant number of responsibilities as an ongoing independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Purdue Alumni’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Ensure that the Purdue for Life Foundation maintains an appropriate level of focus and resources on alumni engagement as a key part of the foundation’s mission and vision. This will be achieved through the establishment of a Purdue Alumni Leadership Council with members appointed by the Purdue Alumni Board.
  • Elect and select directors for the Purdue Alumni Board and its committees
  • Identify, screen, and select three alumni trustees to the Purdue University Board of Trustees in accordance with Indiana state law
  • Select a Purdue Alumni Board member to serve on the Purdue for Life Board of Managers
  • Monitor the Purdue Alumni Association investment account, which will retain its ownership and ensure it is properly managed by the Purdue Research Foundation
  • Monitor compliance with all agreements between Purdue Alumni and Purdue for Life, including the services agreement
  • Conduct the annual meeting of alumni as required by the association’s bylaws
  • Attend to the Purdue Alumni Association’s legal and tax filing obligations

Will there be a CEO to lead the Purdue Alumni Association?

There will be an alumni engagement leader selected soon, but the title for the position will not be CEO and the individual will be a Purdue for Life employee.

The Purdue Alumni Board of Directors and Purdue for Life leadership will jointly select the initial individual responsible for leading the engagement staff. All subsequent hiring for the lead engagement position is subject to approval by the Purdue Alumni Board Executive Committee.

Will the Purdue Alumni staff become part of the Purdue for Life Foundation?

Yes. Plans are underway to position all Purdue Alumni staff within the newly created Purdue for Life organizational structure. The transition will occur at a future date when all agreements are in place.

The decision to unify under a collaborative advancement model is not a cost-cutting measure. Rather, this approach will enable Purdue for Life to expand alumni engagement efforts.

Where will the staff and operations of Purdue for Life be housed?

Along with personnel in the University Development Office, staff supporting engagement functions will continue to be housed primarily in the Dauch Alumni Center.

What other structural or governmental changes will take place as a result of this arrangement?

  • One member of the Purdue for Life Board of Managers who is a University Trustee selected through the Purdue Alumni selection process will be appointed to the Purdue Alumni Board and its Executive Committee.
  • The Purdue Alumni member of the Purdue for Life Board of Managers must be part of the majority vote to appoint a Purdue for Life CEO and the Purdue Alumni Board chair must be consulted during the selection process.

What if I have more questions?

We will continue to update this page as information becomes available. But please feel free to contact us with questions at purduealumni@purdue.edu.